Twitter. The service hasn't been experiencing any of its previous turbulence and has begun to shed its spotty reputation for service uptime. While the site's reliability has improved, one functionality has remained on the "things that are broken on Twitter" list: IM. Previously IM functionality was spotty at best, but folks like Robert Scoble found this feature to be one of the best ways to manage Twitter. Tonight the company has taken the time to clear things up about the status and future of IM functionality on Twitter.It's been a while since we last reported on
The future of IM functionality on Twitter is blurry at best. What is clear is that this feature has been put on hold indefinitely. The company feels that this feature will be much better to manage and provide better stability to users if it were built from the ground up. However:
"Based on our analysis, the cost-to-benefit for IM for the most users is not as high as some other things--so it will be a while before we tackle it. Like any budget (in this case, the budget of our limited engineering time), tough calls need to be made--especially in these times. And while we don't expect everyone to agree with this decision, we at least want to be straightforward with you."
We Doubt It
We appreciate Twitter being straightforward about the feature. While we're a little disappointed to see that it won't be officially from Twitter, the functionality is still capable of being implemented by third party developers. Twitter recommends checking out Excla.im, a jabber bot IM service that allows you to update your Twitter status. However, Excla.im does not allow you to see your friends updates (yet). Just don't expect to see IM functionality back before the end of the year, or maybe even next spring.